BUFFALO BILL MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION, Inc. CODY, WYOMING
Dedicated to keeping alive the memory of a GREAT AMERICAN, SCOUT AND SHOWMAN
This Is A Preliminary Statement…We feel that the time has come when the people of Wyoming and the nation will suffer an irreparable loss unless steps are taken at once to strengthen and enlarge the activities of the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, Inc.
And such are the words of this pamphlet of the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, probably around 1930. In this, the Association’s Centennial year, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West looks back at 100 years of living and loving the American West. Read on to learn more about the ideals of this organization:
We feel that the Buffalo Bill Museum, together with adjoining grounds and the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney statute, with its 52 acres, and the selected burial site of Col. W.F. Cody on Cedar Mountain, consisting of forty acres, all should be thrown into the hands of a national organization and developed in a large way.
Furthermore, we feel that Wyoming, with all of her interesting geological formations and prehistoric fossils, should have some place as a home for these treasures. Where could a more appropriate and fitting place be found than here in Cody, Wyoming, in connection with the Buffalo Bill Museum and the Buffalo Bill statute? As an explanation for securing the forty acres of land on Cedar Mountain, we quote from Col. Cody’s last will and testament:
“SECOND. It is my wish and I hereby direct that my body shall be buried in some suitable plot of ground on Cedar Mountain, overlooking the Town of Cody, Wyoming, in order that my mortal remains shall lie in close proximity to that section of my native country which bears my name and in the growth and development of which I have taken so deep and loving an interest, and to which wheresoever and to whatever parts of the earth I have wandered I have always longed to return.
I further direct that there shall be erected over my grave, to mark the spot where my body lies, a monument wrought from native Red stone in the form of a mammoth buffalo, and placed in such apposition as to be visible from the town, in order that it may be a constant reminder to my fellow citizens that it was the great wish of its founder that Cody should not only grow in prosperity and become a populous and influential metropolis, but that it should be distinguished for the purity of its government and the loyalty of its citizens to the institution of our beloved Country. I give to my said executors the sum of Ten Thousand dollars for the cost of the monument and its erection and to carefully keep the ground about it in proper order.”
Signed: BUFFALO BILL MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION, Inc. Cody, Wyoming | The Town of Cody and the Museum and Relics Committee | Mary Jester Allen, Effie Shaw, Mary Forst, Lucille Nichols, Ada Greever, Mary Dacken
Right: According to this account, Buffalo Bill wanted to be buried on Cedar Mountain, west of Cody, Wyoming–the mountain on the left of the Shoshone Canyon in this image by Jack Richard, March 19, 1965. From there, Buffalo Bill could watch over the town he loved. PN.89.39.8503.02